February 1, 2013 | by

Will you answer the CPR call?

TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Mike Duyck Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue wants to know if you are willing to help save a life.

Specifically, if you are willing to serve as a potential citizen rescuer on standby — ready to jump into action and perform CPR in the event someone nearby goes into sudden cardiac arrest in a public place.

The fire district on Tuesday released a new PulsePoint smartphone application that alerts CPR-trained bystanders when someone within a quarter-mile radius is in need of their aid at the precise moment emergency dispatchers activate TVF&R’s emergency crews.

The app can be downloaded free from the Apple App Store or Android Apps on Google Play.

As the first fire department in Oregon to introduce this lifesaving tool to its 220-square-mile service area, the app uses sophisticated location-based software when someone calls 911 to direct bystanders to the location of the person in need of CPR as well as the nearest accessible automated external defibrillator.

Once the citizen rescuer arrives, an emergency dispatcher on the phone with the witness who called 911 will provide instruction on how to administer hands-only CPR by pushing hard and fast on the center of the patient’s chest. Meanwhile, the rescuer can inform someone else about where to find the nearest AED.

“We can’t stress enough how critical it is for people to start CPR before we arrive,” said Mark Charleston, TVF&R’s emergency medical services battalion chief. “Every minute a person in sudden cardiac arrest goes without CPR or a shock to the heart from an AED, the chance of survival goes down by 10 percent.

“Our crews are running about three to four minutes to arrive on scene once they are dispatched. If someone starts performing CPR, it ensures we have a viable patient and the patient’s chances of being resuscitated improve. Having people willing to assist us will undoubtedly save lives.”

Read the full article by Christina Lent, at the Portland Tribune.